Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy delicious grilled meals throughout the fall months too. Not to mention, grilling in the autumn is an excellent opportunity to incorporate your favorite fall flavors and seasonal produce items.
Keep reading to discover some tasty inspiration for what some call the beginning of “sweater weather”! From entrees and side dishes to grilled treats, you’ll find four ideas in this blog to help you mix up your menu this fall, all while cooking on the grill. Apple, maple and pumpkin spice - get ready to enjoy these fall flavors and more in new ways.
1. Grill some sweet fall fruits.
Grilling fruit adds a slight char for a sweet and smoky bite that tastes delicious on top of grilled proteins, such as pork, seafood and chicken. For an easy dessert, you can also enjoy them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, like Food Lion brand. While peaches, pineapple and berries are all great options, their peak season is spring and summer.
During the fall months, look for these fruits at your neighborhood Food Lion and follow these quick tips for the grill:
- Apples - Cut your apples into round slices and brush them with melted butter. Grill each side for about five minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if you’re planning to enjoy them as a dessert or on top of a grilled pork chop.
- Pears - Slice your pears in half and remove the cores. Brush the halves with olive oil or melted butter. Place each one cut-side-down on the grill. Cook for around six minutes (or until you’ve created grill marks and the pears have softened slightly). Serve on a salad with grilled chicken or as-is with a drizzle of caramel sauce and some chopped nuts.
- Grapes - Divide your grapes into smaller clusters and toss them in olive oil. Place the grapes directly on the grill and cook with the cover on for roughly three minutes. Serve with grilled chicken or sprinkle with sugar for a simple treat.
2. Make a maple glaze to add some fall flavor to your proteins.
Maple is an iconic fall flavor that many of us enjoy year-round on pancakes and waffles. However, this season is the perfect chance to add this all-natural sweetener to other dishes, including grilled meats; specifically these three proteins:
You’re probably wondering, “How do you make a maple glaze?”. We’re so glad you asked. It’s very simple. In fact, you only need five ingredients - one-third cup maple syrup, two cloves of garlic, three tablespoons of soy sauce and some salt and pepper (to taste). That’s it! But, if you want to add some spice, whisk in a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Or, for another spin on a maple glaze, check out the recipe below!
Sweet Maple Chicken Kabobs
These chicken kabobs are marinated in a sweet and tangy combination of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown mustard, onion and garlic powders, salt, pepper and maple syrup - of course. Keep in mind, the longer you marinate, the more flavorful your chicken and vegetables will become. So, even though the recipe says you can start grilling after an hour of marinating, the more time you allow, you get an even tastier meal. Just be sure not to go over 24 hours before cooking.
When you’re ready to start up the grill, you’ll want to set it to a high heat setting. Then, cook your kabobs for five minutes on each side, let them rest for a few more minutes and enjoy.
Get the full recipe for these Sweet Maple Chicken Kabobs here!
3. Choose fall vegetables for your grilled meal.
On your next grocery shopping trip, pick up some of your favorite fall vegetables to add to a grilled meal. There are three that really taste delicious with a bit of char from the grill:
- Acorn squash
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potatoes
To cook the squash on the grill, you’ll first want to cut them in half and remove the seeds. Then, cut them into one-half-inch-thick slices and toss them in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Cook the sliced squash on each side for around 10 minutes (with the grill cover on) until tender.
On the other hand, to grill sweet potatoes, start by peeling your potatoes and slicing them longways - between one-quarter and one-third-inch-thick. Drizzle each slice with olive oil and add some salt on top. Grill each side of the sweet potato slices for about four minutes until you can easily pierce them with a fork. That means they’re ready to serve!
4. Enjoy grilled s’mores with fall flavors.
Did you know that you could make s’mores on the grill? To do so, you will assemble your s’mores without toasting the marshmallow. Wrap them in aluminum foil and place them on the grill to cook for a minute or two on each side. Then, you can unwrap the foil to find a perfectly gooey and oh-so-decadent treat.
However, we’re talking about fall flavors in this blog, right? So, how can you add those to your grilled s’mores? Here are a handful of ideas:
- Use cinnamon graham crackers instead of traditional honey.
- Add a layer of chocolate hazelnut spread in place of (or in addition to) the chocolate piece.
- Drizzle some salted caramel within your s’mores treats before grilling.
- Sprinkle a little pumpkin pie spice either on top of or within your s’mores.
As you can see, grilling is a pastime that is certainly not limited to the summer months, and there are some easy ways to incorporate fall flavors into your cooking. From grilled autumn produce like apples and squash to ideas for adding flavors such as maple and cinnamon, we hope you’re feeling inspired after reading this blog. Now, head to your neighborhood Food Lion, and pick up what you need for your next grilled autumn meal at low prices you’ll definitely fall for!